Ensuring communication security relies on cryptographic methods. While current encryption techniques, recommended by the Federal Office for Information Security, provide sufficient security today, the rise of powerful quantum computers threatens their future resilience. Particularly vulnerable are entities like government agencies and businesses due to potential storage and decryption at a later time (store now – decrypt later). Hence, efforts are underway to complement conventional methods with Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) approaches in Quantum Cryptography. QKD involves distributing cryptographic key pairs over a secure quantum channel, making interception practically impossible.
The "Development of High-Performance Transmission Components for Quantum-Secure Communication over Fiber Optic Networks in Metro and Wide-Area Networks" (DE-QOR) project aims to advance existing QKD approaches based on coherent optical transmission technology (Continuous Variable QKD, CV-QKD). Leveraging existing infrastructure, central components on both the sender and receiver sides will be developed and integrated into compact systems. This includes optical modules and associated electronics with firmware that can be remotely updated and optimized. The project targets transmission distances exceeding 80 kilometers in urban areas, aiming for high transmission speeds. Achieving this involves analyzing and optimizing analog and digital subsystems to generate keys at a rate that allows encryption of multiple channels. Components are rigorously tested for security, considering potential vulnerabilities.
Creonic GmbH plays an important role in developing certified and standardized components for CV-QKD. Leveraging its expertise in hardware solutions, Creonic contributes to the creation of a compact system with minimal dimensions and a competitive market price. The goal is to enable the retrofitting of such a system without modifications to existing transmission routes. Creonic's involvement emphasizes its commitment to advancing secure quantum communication technologies for widespread application.
High-Performance Transmission Components for Quantum-Secure Fiber Optic Communication in Urban Areas
01/2022 - 12/2024
The project consortium consists of:
Adva Network Security GmbH, Berlin
- Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
- Leibniz Universität Hannover
- Microwave Photonics GmbH, Duisburg
- Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT)
- Creonic GmbH, Kaiserslautern
- Bundesamt für Sicherheit in der Informationstechnik (BSI) (assoziierter Partner)
The project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research